The Matrix: Piercing the Veil
In this article I offer a few of the ways mankind, you and I have been suppressed, manipulated, and controlled for all of written history, the current cycle of time which is known as the Age of Conflict and Confusion, the Kali Yuga. The mechanics of tyranny can be very subtle and devious. The rewriting of history and creating fear-based religions are two such disempowering techniques. I hope that what I have written here will in some small way Liberate you from these tactics and open your Heart to the God-within you.
I love and remain fascinated by India, however I have never been to India. Even though I have travelled the world, every time I planned a trip to India beginning in 1970 something happened to stop me. For the last twelve years I have focused my studies on India’s Sanskrit texts, which for me hold great wisdom, beauty, and the opportunity to reach Enlightenment and Liberation.
As I expanded my extensive reading of the translated Sanskrit texts, I began to teach myself Sanskrit – not an easy task at my age. I read more about India and her history in books and on the Internet. I also watched hundreds of Indian films. I know this may sound strange, but it seemed to me that if I could not travel to India, I could learn much about her through film. Of course I watched Bollywood, but I also watched many Bengali, Tamil, and other films. I had seen 'The Apu Trilogy' of the great master of world cinema, Satyajit Ray (1921-92) back in the 1960s in NYC; and I still feel that Pather Panchali is one of the finest film poems ever made anywhere.
It was Mani Ratnam’s DIL SE that induced me to deeply further explore Indian cinema. I made my way through Indian films via Satyajit Ray, Guru Dutt, B.R. Chopra, Bimal Roy, Raj Kapoor, Prakash Jha, R.G. Varma, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Deepa Mehta, Rituparno Ghosh, Vishal Bhardwaj, Mani Ratnam, and beloved actors - too many to name. I understand that films are not reality, but then what is? Can any of us 'mleccha' hope to understand the whole of India with its vast diversity of cultural differences and multiple languages. Film is not reality, but the men and women who conceive these films are the poets of our time and their work reflects the human heart and mind.
The Plight of Indian Women
There were many recurrent themes in Indian cinema that puzzled me. First was the unbelievable ill treatment of women who nevertheless were portrayed as the living source of strength, self-sacrifice, and forbearance. The brutal recent gang rape case in Delhi, 16 December 2012, made the world aware of the plight of India's women. The film LAJJA (2001) focused on the difficult and dangerous conditions Indian women face by telling four interwoven stories; the worst of which is portrayed by the actress Rekha as a woman who bravely goes against abusive village leaders and consequently is caught, raped, and burned alive.
Who can ever forget Nutan in BANDINI (meaning 'Imprisoned' - 1963), or Nargis in Mother India (1957). The courage of these women is indeed goddess-like. Professional dancing-girl prostitutes are often portrayed with compassion as helpless victims who survive in terrible circumstances, for example Chandramukhi in DEVDAS; and the classic UMRAO JAAN, the sad story of a beautiful girl who is kidnapped from her loving family as a child and forced into a life of prostitution. There are two versions, one played by Rekha (1981) and the other Aiswarya Rai (2006). In 1958 the film SADHNA was sympathetic to the courtesan tawaif Champabai (played by the great real life dancer Vyjayantimala). In PAKEEZAH (1972), Meena Kumari, a great beauty, both poet and actress, immortalized the misery of the courtesan by dramatically expressing her broken heart through her barefoot dance on broken glass across blood stained white floor.
The Evil Priest
The second recurrent theme in Indian cinema that shocked me was the portrayal of the brahman priest as an evil ruthless man who served the local tyrants and thugs. As an outsider I could not conceive the depth of this abuse, for example in the films Gangaajal and Chingaari. In the west the less than ideal and even abusive priest is well known. Television evangelicals are often viewed as self-serving men and women who prey off those who have been marginalized by a culture that increasingly demands a high degree of education many cannot access.
In my search to understand India I came across the lady historian, Romila Thapar. Thapar is highly respected by some and vilified by others. Frankly, when I first began reading her ‘Early India, From the Origins to AD 1300’ my feeling was that she was a bit dry, western oriented, and tedious. Where was all the magic and mysticism I had loved in Alain Danielou’s ‘A Brief History of India’? Then thanks to the Internet, I realized that Romila Thapar had made some serious enemies. This led me to further investigate and to learn why such a respected historian would elicit such vehemence.
Romila Thapar [born 1931], Professor Emeritus in History at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, does not believe that history should be used as a political weapon and is against what she terms a 'communal interpretation' of Indian history that chooses facts through an extremely selective partisan filter. I am not Indian and have no cultural bias, no political agenda, and no vested interest in Indian politics.
Thapar has a way of describing history that is very broad, encompassing many perspectives, more cleanly an overview abstraction, and perhaps beyond many. She accepts that history will never be fact because what has been written is always from a multiplicity of writers who are saying different things. She compares this to the 1950 Japanese film 'Rashoman' that tells the story of a murder from the four witnesses, including the dead. The film reveals how life is experienced so completely and amazingly from our totally different perceptions. We all live in our own holograms. For Thapar there is no linkage between 'belief' and history; and history will never arrive at any absolute truth, but is an attempt to analyze evidence to find what may have occurred.
McCarthyism in India
After a bit of research I found an illuminating article entitled 'Hating Romila Thapar' from the magazine HIMAL, June 2003. Thapar is described as: “...an historian who is indefatigable in the pursuit of knowledge and prolific in its publication, and who is above all a devoted partisan of the truth..." - Oxford University to Romila Thapar while conferring on her an honorary Doctorate of Letters, 2002.
Excerpt: "The campaign [against Romila Thapar] represents the rebirth of McCarthyism... [the] reference to McCarthyism is fitting – the Wisconsin conservative denigrated his political and ideological opponents by drawing on a deep-seated religious suspicion of left-wing ideologies, and advanced a powerful, dangerous cocktail of American nationalism grounded in so-called Christian values and unquestioning support for the nation and its political institutions."
"In 1954, in a move strikingly similar to the history book shenanigans in India today, the US Congress inserted two words into the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ recited every morning by American schoolchildren – '…one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all', so that the pledge would differ from similar statements of loyalty in the Soviet Union that express no divine connection. The insertion in the US pledge is mild in comparison to the broader ideological project of Hindutva, but it rests on a similar assumption, that religion can be used to buttress state-inspired formation of identity. Unlike many of McCarthy’s targets, Thapar will not fall victim to the ongoing assault. Tragically, though, the ambitious designs of the Hindutva brigade are already being realised in part throughout India."
I understand the McCarthy era in the USA very well. More recently I had up-close and personal come to grips with the fact that the Internet is being used to manipulate public opinion in a way that would have made the Jesuits green with envy. What can we believe anymore? I call this phenomenon 'Fear Inc.' because those who are in power are using the media to create fear and confusion, which as a friend pointed out makes us easier to control. Confusion itself is a form of Control.
Confusion is a major thread of the frequencies that weave and make up the Kali Yuga. The Kali Yuga is the cycle of time that is known as the Age of Conflict and Confusion. India has also been enduring the Kali Yuga and there are some very interesting points of evidence on this in Romila Thapar’s books. It hasn’t only been the Jesuits and their Inquisition, and more recently the manipulative monopoly media, which managed to disempower and bewilder people.
The Mechanics of Propaganda and Manipulation
While this might not seem exactly metaphysical, it is very important for us all to recognize the mechanics of propaganda and manipulation. Alex Carey’s book is key to understanding how we Americans have been lied to and manipulated --- and thus fits into the predictions from the ancient Sanskrit text the Linga Purana concerning our current Age of Confusion, the Kali Yuga:
*People will prefer to choose false ideas.
*Base [low minded] men who have gained a certain amount of learning (without having the virtues necessary for its use) will be esteemed as sages.
*Thieves will become kings, and kings will be the thieves.
*Rulers will confiscate property and use it badly. They will cease to protect the people.
Taking the Risk out of Democracy, Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty by Alex Carey, sheds some light on the demons in the closet of the United States of America. As Mr. Carey informs us, "The common man' … has never been so confused, mystified and baffled; his most intimate conceptions of himself, of his needs, and indeed the very nature of human nature, have been subject to skilled manipulation and construction in the interests of corporate efficiency and profit."
This book tells us that we the American people have been subjected to a 75-year long multi-billion dollar intentional assault on our freedom to think and to choose. "...propaganda techniques have been developed and deployed (in the United States)... to control and deflect the purposes of the domestic electorate in a democratic country in the interests of the privileged segments of that society."
By the Manipulation of Significant Symbols
What is propaganda? "Propaganda is the management of collective attitudes by the manipulation of significant symbols... Collective attitudes are amenable to many modes of alteration… intimidation... economic coercion... drill. But their arrangement and rearrangement occurs principally under the impetus of significant symbols; and the technique of using significant symbols for this purpose is propaganda." (Laswell, Bradson, and Janowitz 1953:776-80).
These significant symbols are the catch phrases by which we human beings can be aroused to anger, to go to war, or merely to consume. Phrases like the American Way, the Free Enterprise System, the American Dream, and the global economy are meant to empower our faith --- as opposed to creeping socialism, the red menace, and a national threat. Significant symbols are "symbols with real power over emotional reactions, ideally symbols of the Sacred and the Satanic."
People are polarized by these symbols. They see life in terms of good and bad, black and white, and thus are more easily manipulated. The 'enemy' out there may indeed seem evil. But in the solitude of our own hearts, we know that we are all a mix of both. None of us is so clearly saint or sinner. Instead of emotionally polarizing we could have a dialogue, a discussion; and yet, it seems we can be manipulated by propaganda into thinking almost anything.
Alex Carey suggests that we Americans might be the most brain washed country on the planet! One professor in Carey's book, Professor Harwood Childs, states, "Americans are the most propagandized people of any nation."
Lippman and Bernays were truly brilliant at brainwashing. Bernays is famous for saying, "If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it." [from Toxic Sludge is Good for You! Common Courage Press]. Bernays called this "engineering consent." The reason most of us do not know that these things are going on is because we are incapable of thinking like this!
The World War I propaganda campaign of Mr. Lippman and Mr. Bernays "produced within six months so intense an anti-German hysteria as to permanently impress American business (and Adolph Hitler, among others) with the potential of large scale propaganda to control public opinion."
Bernays found a very practical use for his Uncle Sigmund's science of psychology. "When the war ended, Bernays later wrote, business realized that the general public could now be harnessed to their cause as it had been harnessed to the war, to the national cause." (Alex Carey).
The Masters of Spin!
In 1927, Harold Lasswell wrote "Propaganda Techniques in World War I" and suggested that, "familiarity with the behavior of the ruling public (meaning those who had so easily succumbed to the propaganda) has bred contempt... as a consequence, despondent democrats turned elitist, no longer trusting intelligent public opinion, and therefore should themselves determine how to make up the public mind, how to bamboozle and seduce in the name of the public good..."
As Alex Carey points out, "propaganda has become a profession. The modern world is busy developing a corps of men who do nothing but study the ways and means of changing minds or binding minds to their convictions."
Considering propaganda as the tool of political agendas, we may see more clearly what Romila Thapar describes as the place of language and literature in India in the 11th century:
“The more extensive use of Sanskrit coincided with educated brahmans seeking employment and migrating to various parts of the subcontinent. Where they were successful they were given employment and a grant of land. … The Sanskrit section of the grant therefore had a political agenda, publicizing royal authority and legitimizing the titles and status of the king, along with his connections to ancient heroes and earlier rulers.
“The capturing of history became significant. By appropriating the compositions of the suta or bard – the traditional keepers of history – and editing these in a new format, the authors of the texts could control the use of the past and thereby the status of the rulers.
"The PURANAS, claiming to record the past, were now authored by brahmans and written in Sanskrit, although there was often a pretence that they were still being recited by the bard who was placed formally in the role of the original composer. The audience for this political agenda was the world of kings and courts.”
The meaning is clear that these educated brahmans were given employment and land grants in exchange for skewing the written word to support the right of rule and power, which in our time is called propaganda.
A major theme in Satyajit Ray’s 'The Apu Trilogy' is that of the unemployed educated brahman priest who must leave his family to find employment reading the Sanskrit rituals. The boy Apu ultimately discards his father's heritage and refuses to become a priest. In our current time, I suggest that hundreds of young men and women with PhD’s end up serving a political agenda in the fields of economics, science and history because they can find no other employment.
Romila Thapar: “As long as the Puranic genealogical tradition was the monopoly of the sutas, bards [of the Puranic stories], it was oral. When the tradition came to be used to legitimize kings of later times, it was shuffled, compiled, edited and given a written form for easy reference. It therefore encapsulates a late perspective on the past. As with all such traditions, it cannot be taken literally. These sections of the Puranas are not entirely mythical, since they contain some references to historical dynasties. But claims to factual history need to be used with circumspection, more so than with some other textual data.”
I have many English translations of the Puranas, including the Linga, the Bhagavata, Vayu, Brahma, Vishnu, and many others. When I was immersed in my initial understanding of the Bhagavad Gita, I often read from the Puranas at night before I went to sleep. I was charmed and intrigued by their stories - and often bewildered by their contradictions and the somewhat confusing-to-me need to subordinate one deity to another. Where was the One-ness?
When I think of the custom of worshipping deities in India, I remind myself of the cathedrals in Europe with their beautiful statues of Jesus and Mary, and the numerous martyred saints. Some people do require and prefer a form of the ubiquitous immutable imperishable Oneness in order to feel connected. I myself greatly admire Bernini’s statue of St. Teresa and Raphael’s exquisite paintings of the Madonna. I also love the beautiful and inspiring depictions of India’s gods and goddesses in paintings and sculpture.
TAT TWAM ASI - Thou art That!
However, at a certain moment we must all find the courage to know and feel that God is within us — as well as projected simultaneously out into the external holographic universe. Eventually and inevitably we will Become the eternal Wisdom and Knowledge. We stop bowing down and worshipping symbols, metaphors, and images that were created only to impart encoded information, but never intended to enslave — unless they are meant, contrived and conceived only to enslave.
And 'therein lies the rub' as Hamlet would say. The human race has endured enslavement by intimidation for centuries. It is time for us to stop worshipping in subservience what we do not understand and take responsibility for our own power.
Crossing Over the Delusion Thicket
I am reminded of what Krishna says to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita:
Of no more uses than a pool when the entire land is flooded are the Vedas to the Self-Realized person. [as translated by K.K. Nair/Krishna Chaitanya]
When your intellect crosses over this quagmire of delusion, then you will become disenchanted with what is supposed to be revealed and the revealed itself, that which is heard in the Veda. [combined translation of J.A.B. van Buitenen and Winthrop Sargeant]
Chris Hedges is another courageous writer we can learn from. Hedges (born in 1956), an American journalist and author, spent two decades in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkins, and has worked for The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and National Public Radio. Hedges wrote the book 'War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning' in 2002. If you have never read Chris Hedges, then I urge you to do so for Mr. Hedges will give you a dose of unremitting cold reality unlike any other. The depth of his courage is remarkable. In a recent article on the website truthdig, Hedges talks about ritual as the reaction to collapse in any civilization.
Excerpted from Chris Hedges: 'The Myth of Human Progress'
“Societies in collapse often fall prey to the belief that if certain rituals are performed all the bad stuff will go away,” the Canadian author Ronald Wright said. “There are many examples of that throughout history. In the past these crisis cults took hold among people who had been colonized, attacked and slaughtered by outsiders, who had lost control of their lives.
"They see in these rituals the ability to bring back the past world, which they look at as a kind of paradise. They seek to return to the way things were. Crisis cults spread rapidly among Native American societies in the 19th century, when the buffalo and the Indians were being slaughtered by repeating rifles and finally machine guns. People came to believe, as happened in the Ghost Dance, that if they did the right things the modern world that was intolerable—the barbed wire, the railways, the white man, the machine gun—would disappear.”
This idea that ritual replaces any authentic power is worth contemplating in many regards, including economics, science, politics, and religion. In another piece, Hedges says that in dying cultures groups of people tend to invent their history in order to "escape their despair, impoverishment and hopelessness." Here he warns of the return of racism in the southern states USA:
"The steady rise of ethnic nationalism over the past decade, the replacing of history with mendacious and sanitized versions of lost glory, is part of the moral decay that infects a dying culture. It is a frightening attempt, by those who are desperate and trapped, to escape through invented history their despair, impoverishment and hopelessness. It breeds intolerance and eventually violence. Violence becomes in this perverted belief system a cleansing agent, a way to restore a lost world. There are ample historical records that disprove the myths espoused by the neo-Confederates, who insist the Civil War was not about slavery but states’ rights and the protection of traditional Christianity. But these records are useless in puncturing their self-delusion, just as documentary evidence does nothing to blunt the self-delusion of Holocaust deniers.
"Those who retreat into fantasy cannot be engaged in rational discussion, for fantasy is all that is left of their tattered self-esteem. When their myths are attacked as untrue it triggers not a discussion of facts and evidence but a ferocious emotional backlash. The challenge of the myth threatens what is left of hope. And as the economy unravels, as the future looks bleaker and bleaker, this terrifying myth gains potency. "
On a personal note and you may not believe this, as a child in the USA early 1950s, in movie theatres and on the early black-and-white television, I was fed a continuous stream of westerns depicting the American Indians as heinous blood thirsty enemies. Throughout my childhood I heard the phrase repeated, "The only good [red] Indian is a dead Indian!" As an adult I was shocked and horrified when I read the real history of the American Indians, for example the heartbreaking Cherokee Trail of Tears. But as a child, I knew nothing — only this kind of propaganda and I had no way of learning anything else.
Eras of Safety
The civilized world is very fragile. Eras of safety within which civilizations can evolve in peace have come and gone. When they collapse, catastrophe can and does take many horrific forms. In the written history of this cycle of time, we have seen the rise and fall of many realms, kingdoms and empires. We may be on the brink of the total collapse of everything we have known and any safety within which we have felt free to explore our creativity.
Throughout the Kali Yuga for the past 6000 years, mankind has moved further away from knowing that we are eternally interconnected, One with the Creator and all life. We have sunk deeper into delusion and an ever-increasing miasma of amnesia. The deluded fools who are the most fearful, clever and cunning have succeeded in subjugating the rest into various forms of submission and slavery, both physical and mental.
I have here mentioned only a few of the methods used by the tyrants to perpetuate such abysmal ignorance. No country is free of this. The Sanskrit Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita are filled with keys to Enlightenment and Liberation, but India has also suffered terribly under the tyrant's claw and propaganda as much as any people.
For a brief moment in time, we may have lived under the hope of the Bill of Rights. Any remnant of such ideals may vanish. The only real lasting refuge is Enlightenment, meaning we Remember that we are all part of the Oneness. This wisdom Truth was lived by every one of us in the first cycle of time, the Satya Yuga. Those who can now awaken will lift the consciousness of the planet and gently open the way for our return to eternal Union in the God that dwells within All.
Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300, by Romila Thapar; University of California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 2002.
Somanatha, The Many Voices of a History, by Romila Thapar; Verso, London & New York, 2005.
BBC Hardtalk India - Romila Thapar
Taking the Risk Out of Democracy,
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
Alex Carey, 1997; University of Illinois Press.
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